Branding is not just the work I do; it’s one of my obsessions. (Other obsessions include sequins, #vannin, and Back to the Future.) While there are certainly best practices for branding, I tend not to follow secret formulas or get uptight about tactics when I’m working with clients. The Jamie Leigh Guide to Branding Fundamentals is a five-part series that introduces you to some of the principles, psychology, and processes that I’ve developed in my 15+ years of working with online business owners. Whether you’re starting from scratch with a new business idea or contemplating a re-brand of your current business, this series will help you approach your branding project with greater know-how and ease (because we could all use more of that in our lives).
Your brand is not just the logo. And creating your logo is not just slapping your colours and fonts together or putting your business name into an automated hipster logo program from the latest trend.
Your logo should be a visual marker of your brand’s mission, vision, values, clients and customers, and industry.
Creating a logo is part design principles, part artistic intuition, and part business strategy.
Done well, it’s the next level of brand recognition that makes you irresistible to your audience.
A logo that sets you apart in your industry is vital for magnetic, irresistible brands.
Let’s take a look now at the different categories of logos. While you’re reading about the logo types below, think about the kind of brand you’re building and which logo category might best support your business goals.
The 3 Primary Logo Categories
Symbol or Icon Logos
These are logos that don’t include text. They’re simple, bold, and recognizable.
Most brands use a symbol or icon logo as a secondary logo or as their favicon (that tiny image which appears in the browser bar in a website).
It’s more challenging for new businesses and small businesses to have a symbol logo that stands alone. Without the marketing dollars of big corporations, brand recognition is more feasible with the inclusion of words.
Letter Mark and Word Mark Logos
A letter mark logo uses one to three letters as the visual image (typically the first letter of the name). A word mark logo uses text to spell the name of the brand.
A letter mark logo is a great option for personal brands. Word mark logos are the most popular types of logo because it repeats your company name (which helps with brand recognition). Letter mark logos are another common option for website favicons.
For some brands, it makes sense to actually combine a symbol and word, and for those there’s the emblem logo option. This is a stylistic combination of an image and text.
Emblem logos are popular because they include the best of both worlds—graphics and text—and can be created with multiple display options for use in a wide variety of places, on- and offline.
Based on the stage your business and brand is in right now, which type of logo might best represent your brand in the world?
I’d be lying if I said creating logos—amazing logos—was easy. It’s one of the most challenging parts of the branding process for both the designer and business owner.
But logo design is also the most fun and creative because we’re bringing together all the elements of your brand into one graphic representation.
Done well, your logo is an ambassador for your brand, working for you day and night wherever it appears.
P.S. If your old logo is no longer living up to the business you’ve created, or if you have a business idea that’s keeping you up at night and could really use a logo, you’re in luck. I’ve got a limited number of spots available in 2017 for my Signature Design service. You’ll walk away with a website and brand that will open people’s hearts, minds, and pocketbooks.